Buttigieg: Republicans have 'lost all claim to ever use religious language' over family separations

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete Buttigieg'Funky Academic:' Public has been 'groomed to measure progress by firsts' Biden administration in talks with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for India ambassador post: reports Business groups target moderate Democrats on Biden tax plans MORE invoked religion while discussing the treatment of migrants at the border during Thursday night's Democratic presidential primary debate. 

Buttigieg said that Republicans have "lost all claim to ever use religious language again,” pointing to policies like family separations and the treatment of migrant children crossing the border. 

“The Republican Party likes to cloak itself in their language of religion,” said Buttigieg, who has been outspoken on the campaign trail about his Episcopalian faith.  

“We should call out hypocrisy when we see it," the mayor continued. "For a party that associates itself with Christianity to say that it is OK to suggest that God would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages has lost all claim to ever use religious language again.”

He also said that the criminalization of crossing the border without documentation is "the basis of family separation.”

Buttigieg was among 20 Democratic presidential candidates to take the debate stage in Miami this week.